Treble’s Best Albums of the 70s: Part One

Treble's Best Albums of the 70s: Part One

1973

Bob Marley and the Wailers - Burnin' 10. Bob Marley and the Wailers — Burnin’ (Tuff Gong)

On every album that he made with the Wailers, Bob Marley showed solidarity with his fellow countrymen and managed to make the true reggae sound evolve each time. But Burnin’ released in 1973 is still today the most genuine definition of the roots reggae sound. It is the fourth effort with the Wailers and the last one with the legendary original lineup featuring Bunny Wailer and Peter Tosh, both who went on to have a good deal of success in their solo careers as well as become prominent dignitaries of reggae in their own rites. — Chris Pacifico

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Tom Waits - Closing Time 9. Tom Waits — Closing Time (Asylum)

One of the sexiest things about Tom Waits is that he is so versatile. Not only in his music, but also as Tom, the person. I envision Tom walking into a five-star swanky restaurant and looking right at home. I also see him completely in his element hanging out with the local barflies in a smoky, dirty truck stop, placed in the middle of nowhere. His first album, Closing Time, is an album for anyone for anytime of your life. This album has the power to flip on a switch in your brain, and want to consume it no matter what emotions you seem to be experiencing at your current juncture. — Ayn Averett

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Lou Reed - Berlin 8. Lou Reed — Berlin (RCA)

Ah, Berlin, one of the most pleasantly depressing albums committed to tape. The disintegration of a relationship catalogued with all the vulgarity and enmity reserved for the truly great—those who inspire us by making us writhe, at once, with discomfort and voyeuristic joy. Full of drugs, violence and characters inspiring uninhibited ambivalence, this little melodrama elicits our approval even when inspiring our spleen. — Tyler Parks

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New York Dolls - New York Dolls 7. New York Dolls — New York Dolls (Mercury)

New York Dolls is a proto-punk masterpiece created by a band of hard-partying freaks, in heels no less! The New York Dolls essentially invented punk rock and without them, today’s pop music would be vastly different. Hairspray and lipstick aside, the New York Dolls were able to take slices of Americana and transform them into something that was unmistakably the Dolls’. What is even more impressive is they did all this in a few scant years and without even allowing their mascara to run. — Molly B. Eichel

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Led Zeppelin - Houses of the Holy 6. Led Zeppelin — Houses of the Holy (Atlantic)

So maybe the Mighty Led Zeppelin would never be able to top the song by song majesty of their untitled fourth album, but they would come pretty close with Physical Graffiti and this “tight, but loose” epic album. Thirty years later and we’re still trying to figure out the naked children on the album cover. Plus, Zep goes reggae! — Terrance Terich

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Stevie Wonder - Innervisions 5. Stevie Wonder — Innervisions (Tamla – Motown)

Combining the socially conscious theme of What’s Going On, the solid grooves of Superfly and the diverse palette of The White Album, Stevie Wonder made a crowning achievement in soul music in 1973. The music on Innervisions revealed a wider spectrum of music than ever thought possible, and made for some of Wonder’s most beloved songs (“Higher Ground,” “Golden Lady”). It also may have saved Wonder’s life after he was injured in a car accident. This album just might save your life as well. — Jeff Terich

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Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon 4. Pink Floyd — Dark Side of the Moon (Harvest)
Some may argue it’s the best album of all time, some may not. Either way, Dark Side of the Moon could be proof that drugs are good: had Syd Barrett not left the band due to his deteriorating mental condition (undoubtedly brought on by drug use), creating a need that David Gilmour filled… well, would Dark Side of the Moon exist now, in 2005? Would I even be writing this review? Who’s to say? But music history would be a drab place indeed without this seminal—not to mention phenomenal—album.— Nicole Grotepas

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Roxy Music - For Your Pleasure 3. Roxy Music — For Your Pleasure (Warner Bros.)

In this corner, sporting a bow tie, a reverence for good old fashioned rock `n’ roll and a gravity-defying pompadour, Bryan Ferry, glam-rock’s smoothest crooner. And in this corner, clad in frilly space suits, an iconoclastic attitude toward music and a skullet, Brian Eno, the mad scientist of pop music. Alright, fellas, touch gloves and let’s make one of the weirdest, but most influential records in British rock `n’ roll. Now, let’s keep it clean! — Jeff Terich

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David Bowie - Aladdin Sane 2. David Bowie — Aladdin Sane (RCA)

A title inspired in part by Bowie’s schizophrenic brother and the need to create a new persona post-Ziggy, much of Aladdin Sane‘s oddness may come from the fact it was written while his band was on the road. Bowie was taxed and torn by the rigors of extensive touring and wanted to push his musical mojo and explore new territory. Mike Garson’s contribution to Aladdin Sane is also responsible for the album’s swings toward the avant-garde and eccentric. The end results are a strange batch that skips and hops to its own whims often laced with a sense of decay and unease, everything tethered together by Bowie’s lunatic and lovely lyricism. — Hubert Vigilla

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Iggy and the Stooges - Raw Power 1. Iggy and the Stooges — Raw Power (Columbia)

Iggy, or the man the hipsters simply call “Jim,” is about a buck-oh-five of vocal fury and nowhere was it more evident than on the fiery Raw Power. With “assistance” from friend David Bowie, Pop reconvened the Stooges for one last time before they were to call it quits, and created a monolith of guitar rock and the genesis of a thousand genres. — Terrance Terich

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